A 21-year-old mechanic nearly decapitated a co-worker at the Northwest Side auto shop where they worked and then hid the man’s body in the trunk of a Cadillac, Cook County prosecutors said Friday.
Prosecutors didn’t provide a motive for the attack, and said Martin Molina and Felipe Villalobos-Calderon appeared to get along.
Molina was charged with first-degree murder after 42-year-old Villalobos-Calderon’s body was found in the trunk of a silver Cadillac, along with a shovel late Wednesday morning in the 2100 block of North Marmora Avenue.
Villalobos-Calderon, of Portage Park, suffered multiple deep cuts, including one to his neck that “nearly decapitated” him, Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin DeBoni said.
Villalobos-Calderon was last seen on outdoor security footage arriving at Tapias Auto Repair, at 5821 W. Grand Ave., about 9:30 a.m. that morning. Molina arrived roughly an hour later, DeBoni said.
Minutes after Molina arrived, the shop’s security cameras recorded audio of the attack. Villalobos-Calderon pleaded in Spanish, asked Molina to “stop messing around,” and said “calm down” before saying “I’ll leave,” DeBoni said. Villalobos-Calderon then went silent and several loud thumping noises could be heard, DeBoni said.
No security cameras were recording the inside the shop, but shortly after the murder allegedly took place, several other employees arrived and found Molina covered with fresh blood. The workers also saw pools of blood on the garage floor near a hose that was used to wash blood down a drain in the floor, DeBoni said.
The first worker to arrive saw Molina covered in fresh blood and jokingly asked if he had killed someone, DeBoni said. Molina told his co-worker he had been in a fight and asked him to get his car and move it to a garage door at the shop, DeBoni said. Molina’s colleague agreed, but instead went to his own car and called Molina’s father and reported a fight at the shop to Chicago police.
Another employee arrived and saw Molina standing outside next to the Cadillac. That employee saw Molina get into the Cadillac and park it closer to the driveway leading to Grand Avenue., Deboni said.
Molina told that co-worker that he had hurt himself, but then refused to be taken for treatment when the man — who also noticed blood on the floor — became concerned, DeBoni said. That co-worker then allegedly saw Molina place a folded cardboard box into the trunk of the Cadillac before driving away.
Molina’s father convinced Molina to return to the shop, DeBoni said. When he returned, Molina again talked to his father, who asked what had happened to Villalobos-Calderon. Molina pointed his thumb toward the Cadillac, where police officers later found Villalobos-Calderon’s body in the trunk, DeBoni said.
Molina previously suffered mental health issues and was hospitalized after a mental breakdown in 2019, but he has never been charged with an act of violence, an assistant public defender told Judge Susana Ortiz.
Molina said there had been a fight, which could have set off another mental breakdown, the defense attorney added.
Ortiz ordered Molina held without bail, but approved a request that he be placed at Cermak Hospital while he is held at Cook County Jail.
Molina is expected back in court May 6.